Loading

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool

Stair Stringer Attachment

How you attach the stair stringers to the top of the deck and to any landings will be critical. You should reinforce the rim behind the stairs to provide a solid base for attachment. Use positive connections to install stair stringers using stair stringer connectors to the front face of the rim to provide adequate support.

If your first tread steps down from the deck, you must extend the rim joist to create a solid surface below the deck rim to attach it to. You should attach 2x6 or 2x8 support framing under the rim flush to the bottom of the stringer. 

The stairs will hang here.
PinterestSave
The stairs will hang here.

Install a piece of blocking below the rim joist to extend the attachment surface for your stairs stringers.

Use a level to mark the top step.
PinterestSave
Use a level to mark the top step.

Measure down from the top of the deck and mark the top of your stair stringers with a level. For example, if each stair will be 6 3/8" finished height, we will measure down 7 3/8" to compensate for the missing stair tread.

Mark the locations for the stringers.
PinterestSave
Mark the locations for the stringers.

Mark the location for each stair stringer. Most wood stairs use 16" on center. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for composite decking. Most composite decking materials require 12" or even 10" on center spacing.

A positive stringer connection.
PinterestSave
A positive stringer connection.

Bend your stair stringer connectors to the correct angle. Hold the connector under the stringer and raise the stringer to the proper height. Then, mark the height of the connector. Repeat for each stringer attachment. Use 10d - 1.5" hot-dipped galvanized nails.

Make sure the top of the stringers are level.
PinterestSave
Make sure the top of the stringers are level.

Nail the stair stringer connectors into place. Then, nail the 2x12 stair stringers to the connector side flange and bottom.


Popular Stairs Articles
Staircases

How to Build Box Steps for Your Deck

Learn how to build a set of box platforms to act as stairs for a low deck. You don't need to cut stair stringers.

Staircases

Stair Safety Glazing Requirement

It can be dangerous to have windows near deck stairs. Learn about options that you can use to make these areas safer and code compliant.

Staircases

Cutting Stair Stringers

Step-by-step instructions for cutting your 2x12 deck stair stringers with a circular saw.

Next Step: Railings Articles
Deck Railing Types

Glass Rails

Installing glass rails will usually require you to build the rail frame first and take precise measurements to custom order the tempered safety glass...

Deck Railing Parts

Deck Handrail

Handrails are required on at least one side of all deck stairs.

Deck Railing Parts

Balusters

Step-by-step instructions on installing deck rail balusters. Learn how to install metal balusters with connectors.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Staircases

Stair Stringer Attachment

How you attach the stair stringers to the top of the deck and to any landings will be critical. You should reinforce the rim behind the stairs to provide a solid base for attachment. Use positive connections to install stair stringers using stair stringer connectors to the front face of the rim to provide adequate support.

If your first tread steps down from the deck, you must extend the rim joist to create a solid surface below the deck rim to attach it to. You should attach 2x6 or 2x8 support framing under the rim flush to the bottom of the stringer. 

The stairs will hang here.
PinterestSave
The stairs will hang here.

Install a piece of blocking below the rim joist to extend the attachment surface for your stairs stringers.

Use a level to mark the top step.
PinterestSave
Use a level to mark the top step.

Measure down from the top of the deck and mark the top of your stair stringers with a level. For example, if each stair will be 6 3/8" finished height, we will measure down 7 3/8" to compensate for the missing stair tread.

Mark the locations for the stringers.
PinterestSave
Mark the locations for the stringers.

Mark the location for each stair stringer. Most wood stairs use 16" on center. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for composite decking. Most composite decking materials require 12" or even 10" on center spacing.

A positive stringer connection.
PinterestSave
A positive stringer connection.

Bend your stair stringer connectors to the correct angle. Hold the connector under the stringer and raise the stringer to the proper height. Then, mark the height of the connector. Repeat for each stringer attachment. Use 10d - 1.5" hot-dipped galvanized nails.

Make sure the top of the stringers are level.
PinterestSave
Make sure the top of the stringers are level.

Nail the stair stringer connectors into place. Then, nail the 2x12 stair stringers to the connector side flange and bottom.


Popular Stairs Articles
Staircases

How to Build Box Steps for Your Deck

Learn how to build a set of box platforms to act as stairs for a low deck. You don't need to cut stair stringers.

Staircases

Stair Construction Requirements

Learn how to build stairs using 2x12 stringers. Watch our step-by-step DIY video. Review the code requirements for stair construction.

Staircases

Support Long Stringers

Long stair stringers may need extra support from installing a brace at mid-span.

Next Step: Railings Articles
Deck Railing Types

Glass Rails

Installing glass rails will usually require you to build the rail frame first and take precise measurements to custom order the tempered safety glass...

Railing Codes

Installing Deck Stair Railings

Step-by-step instructions for how to install deck stair railings. Learn about the code requirements and construction tips with images.

Deck Railing Types

How to Build & Install an Outdoor Deck Gate

In this easy-to-follow guide, we explain the process of building a deck gate and installing it on your deck.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic